Household Expenses Renting or buying a house is the essence of living abroad; it's what separates you from the tourist. The experience of owning a home in the Italian countryside has become almost legendary, as have the headaches that go along with it. While renting an apartment is less of a responsibility, it also presents its pitfalls.
The same can be said about owning or renting property anywhere, but Italian real estate poses unique benefits and challenges. Italy has a historical claim to some of the most admired architecture in the world.
Photo Gallery Building And Restoring Of Italy
Building And Restoring Of Italy Images
This may be the reason you decided to live here. You wanted to carry your groceries from the open-air market past Baroque palaces and medieval frescoes, and step into your Libertystyle apartment building with a wrought-iron elevator shaft and bicycles parked in the courtyard. Or you wanted to hide away in a tile-roofed villa with terra-cotta floors surrounded by vineyards, where you can lean out your window to smell basil in the garden and hear the chatter of grandmothers.
These simple pleasures of domestic living in Italy make all the complications worthwhile. By complications, I don't mean the handheld shower heads and the three-kilowatt electrical outlets. These are local idiosyncrasies that most people would say lend a characteristic touch to European living. If you were addicted to the consumer comforts of North America, such as crushed-ice dispensers and garbage disposals, you probably wouldn't have chosen to live in Italy in the first place.
Complications, rather, are the difficulties and bureaucratic underpinnings of buying and keeping up real estate here, the archaic methods of paying the bills, and the often frustrating attitude of repair people. The good news is that these drawbacks are slowly improving.